Highlights of Those Who Ministered to Us
I sit in a luxurious room at White Stone Country Inn. The view is breathtaking, overlooking a rolling pasture and the Tennessee River. The room temperature is set to exactly where I want it. The bathroom came with a waterfall shower and a large spa tub. Breakfast is delicious with delicate pastries and fruits and hot entrees. My company is my best friend, Darron. I drink in this 48 hours of retreat. Paying attention to the little details. Taking countless mental pictures of images and memories that I will remember for the next 10 months. It is unknown how many times during the last year that I savored the thought of coming here now. My favorite B & B, yet! Even more special is that they allow missionaries to come here for free. What an incredible ministry…. We have been so touched on this furlough by many people who have ministered to us through acts of generosity and trust. I would like to highlight a few.
It all begins and ends with family. They are our biggest cheerleaders and the ones who love us the most. They also take the brunt of our stress, busy to do lists, honest feelings, and the sacrifice of saying goodbye and having to trust that we will say “hello” again. They host us in their homes and feed us countless meals. Our stuff gets strewn all over their homes. Yet, there is much joy of togetherness and long conversations. Laughter. Love. Memories. We could not “go” without our family who takes care of so many details for us. So even if they did not feel they were part of the “call”, they are….
The Jordan family have been a sweet part of our furlough. With their 4 boys and our 4 boys always ready to be together again. Missy watched our boys countless times so that I could either connect with other girlfriends or go shopping. What a ministry to me! Missy and I had our own delights of chatting, watching a girl movie, escaping to eat frozen yogurt late one evening, and English Tea with Kristi. We have been friends since our oldest boys were infants.
The Kochanski family opened up their farm home to us. We were free to come and go as we pleased. Leaving our stuff and not having to pack it up as we came and went. The country setting was relaxing. To have a place where we could just be was essential to relaxation. What a beautiful ministry.
The Drexler family allowed us the use of their van…..giving us the flexibility of having 2 vehicles while in the states. They also opened up their home to us while they were on vacation. I learned from the trust and open door love that they gave to us.
Becky pampered me with a hair highlight. Now that was ministry……
Kathy took the boys on the DUCK in Chattanooga and out to eat. Then she took me out to eat. We were spoiled by her attention and generosity.
There have been many more meals of love and fellowship. I cannot mention them all. But each act of love helps to fill up the void that living in a different culture can chip away at. Thank you to all of you who gave. We have been touched and renewed. Have you ever considered how you could minister to a missionary family? Even when they come “home” to “rest”, they are still in need of places to stay, things to travel in, blankets and pillows, etc. I had no idea. Thank you to all who tried to imagine how we felt and ministered to us.